A paper presented to the International Seminar on Project Management for Developing Countries, September 4 to 6, 1991, in New Delhi, India. The audience was made up of mostly construction people, but much of the following content could equally apply to large projects in other areas of application.

Executive Summary  | Index | Part 1 | Part 2 | Conclusions | References


Information is best viewed as the data upon which the project is configured and upon which decisions are based, while communication is the oil and grease which keeps the whole project progressing smoothly. Questions in this area might therefore include: Does the project sponsor keep the project manager informed on matters affecting the project, and in turn does the project manager keep the members of his team similarly informed? Are project team members free to voice their opinions and concerns for the project? In other words, is information flowing satisfactorily through the organizational structure, and in doing so, is its quality and integrity maintained?

Similarly, are the necessary mechanisms in place to inform those who are outside of the project organization, and inform them according to their respective interests? For example, an external stakeholders' public relations program could be very necessary where the construction and completion of the project is politically sensitive, since adverse reaction could have a damaging affect on the ultimate success of the project.

Are all members of the project team and their respective work forces clear on what is expected of them? Are the responsibilities of each clearly defined, and are the corresponding project policies and procedures clearly set out, accessible and easy to use?

Do project status reviews compare what has been accomplished with planned expectations, and when the project is off-track is an opportunity provided to develop a recovery plan? In arriving at such solutions, is everyone involved who should be involved, in order to build commitment to the required results?

Does the project differentiate between meetings to discuss progress and planning on the one hand, and problem solving meetings on the other, in order to improve the effectiveness of both? Are these meetings efficiently managed, with prior agendas and subsequent action oriented minutes which focus on the future rather than the past, and show responsibilities clearly assigned?

Is the project provided with adequate systems and data processing support, particularly in the areas of scope change, quality, and forecast schedule and cost controls?

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